Mulholland Drive (2001)

R   |    |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller


Mulholland Drive (2001) Poster

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.


8/10
314,203


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  • Peter Gallagher and Anthony LaPaglia at an event for Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • Justin Theroux in Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • Debbie Harry at an event for Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • Ben Stiller and Justin Theroux at an event for Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • Michael J. Anderson in Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • David Lynch in Mulholland Drive (2001)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


5 April 2013 | drarthurwells
8
| Mulholland Drive - Lynch's cinematic art - reality vs. fantasy
Lynch loves to realistically portray logical sequences interspersed by fantasy diversions, which entrances but confuses the viewer. Blue Velvet is his best film, and works well because of its overall logical coherency spiced up by fantastic deviations from the norm (the fantasy element of the film). This technique reminds me of Fellini's 8 1/2, where fantasy was often interspersed with a logical and coherent plot.

Mulholland Drive starts off logically but then gradually abandons logical coherence as dream-like (but realistically presented) sequences are brought into the plot. Then there is a shift in the plot, from the fantasy of the first part, to the reality of the second part where roles and identities are reversed and reality reigns.

Lynch's genius is in his artistic slight of hand where he presents a fantasy scene realistically, sucking the viewer in to expecting a meaningful depiction, then upending these expectations in shocking the viewer with the fantastic elements of the scene. I can imagine Lynch laughing in the background as he plays his joke on the viewer.

The film Holy Motors presents pure fantasy in nonsensical and unrelated sequences, and is bad art. Mulholland Drive has enough organization and structure, with more skillfully accomplished fantasy, to qualify it as good art.

Naomi Watts gives us an outstanding performance - better than the typical "Best Actress" Oscar award winner's performance in the last 20 years. Watts usually gets roles that don't allow her to display her considerable acting skills, but this role does, and she more than meets the challenge.

The plot is secondary for Lynch since cinematic art is his focus. However, the movie is totally baffling unless you have some guidelines. Basically Mulholland drive is the story of a young girl who comes to Hollywood with high hopes of becoming an actress. The film is told in two parts. My interpretation is that the first (Watts as Betty) part is psychotic delusions of the young girl as she reconstructs her past leading up to the promise of a brilliant acting career. This is presented as reality and the viewer has no idea it is false. The shift to the second (Watts as Diane) part shows some shifting of roles, and depicts the true story whereby the young girl fails to become an major actress. Her identity is valid, as Diane, in the second part showing her dismal failure, while Rita of the first delusional part becomes Camilla in the second reality part.

Naomi Watts thus plays two roles with different identities, in part one and in part two. The two parts are cued by the change in her name from the delusional Betty (part I) to the real Diane (part II). In a clever signal of this personality change, the waitress at Winkie's is named Diane when Betty and Rita go to eat there in the first fantasy part, while this same waitress becomes Betty when Watts as Diane goes to Winkie's in the real second part.

The plot shift from fantasy to reality mirrors the high hopes and aspirations as fantasy (Part I as Betty) and dismal failure as reality (Part II as Diane), that happens so often as young would-be performers seek fame in Hollywood but end up as failures.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(David Lynch): [Lincoln]: The blue-haired lady sits in the balcony in the same position as Abraham Lincoln did in the Ford Theater.


Quotes

Rita: What are you doing? We don't stop here.


Goofs

During the long tracking shot of the mob goon (Kenny) entering the director's house, a crew member is reflected in the window.


Crazy Credits

The only time we see the full title spelled out is at the end of the end credits. During the opening credits, there is only a street sign that says "Mulholland Dr".


Alternate Versions

Some scenes were deleted to shorten the running time of the movie. Some of the missing scenes are:

  • An additional scene of the detectives McKnight and Domgaard in the police station talking about the car crash the previous night on Mulholland Drive.
  • A full scene of dialog with the hit man Joe and the pimp Billy in Pinky's Hot Dog stand with Joe asking about information on the missing woman and about the hot dogs served while the drugged out streetwalker Laney looks on.
  • An scene of the Castigliane limo arriving outside Adam Kesher's house where the goon, Kenny, gets out and talks briefly with Taka, the Japanese gardener in the driveway asking if he has seen Adam recently.
  • A scene of Betty arriving on the studio lot and meeting Martha Johnson outside the producer's office and Wally coming out the front door to meet her and take her inside.
  • An extended scene showing the introduction of Mr. Roque of Vincent Darby entering a large office building and taking an elevator to one of the top floors and asking the receptionist if he could enter Mr. Roque's office.
  • During the scene where Mr. Roque relays the message 'the girl is still missing' to various unseen associates, when the unseen man with the hairy arm on the yellow telephone rings his contact, the original scene was not of a telephone under a lamp with a red shade, but a white speaker phone on a bright blue table and a woman's hand (Camila Rhodes?) answering it, but cutting away before she says anything.
  • The scene of Adam meeting with the executives is longer with him first arriving holding a iron golf club demanding why he has been called away from the golf course to this meeting and Ray giving him a vague explanation to the movie he's filming. The scene ends with the Castigliane brothers leaving first and Adam yelling at the executives over them rigging the casting of the lead actress and about the film being kept locked up in the studio safe.
  • A bit scene where after the bruiser Kenny knocks unconscious Adam's wife and the pool man, he walks around Adam's house and sees Adam's wife's jewelry in the kitchen sink which is overflowing with water. Kenny then is shown breaking all of Adam's golf clubs as payback for trashing the limo and then leaves telling the gangsters in the back of the limo that Adam's not home.
  • There is another scene introducing Wilkins (Scott Coffee) who lives in a studio loft above Betty Elms's apartment where Adam phones him just before his meeting with the Cowboy and telling Wilkins about finding his wife in bed with the pool man, and asks Wilkins if he could come over to stay for a while since he has no money. Wilkins agrees, and after hanging up, he yells at his dog crouched in a corner about relieving himself all over the place.


Soundtracks

Crying
(Llorando)
Written by
Roy Orbison and Joe Melson
Performed by Rebekah Del Rio
Courtesy of DavidLynch.Com
By Arrangement with Bobkind Music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Mystery | Thriller

Details

Release Date:

19 October 2001

Language

English, Spanish, French


Country of Origin

France, USA

Filming Locations

387 South Main Street, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$587,591 14 October 2001

Gross USA:

$7,220,243

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,129,557

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